Scottish Priest Sacked Over Reparation for LGBT Parade

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by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 19, 2018   

Fr. Mark Morris fired from Glasgow Caledonian University for affirming Church teaching on homosexuality

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GLASGOW, Scotland (ChurchMilitant.com) - A faithful Scottish priest has been fired for holding a service of atonement for his city's annual gay pride parade last weekend.   

On Monday night, Fr, Mark Morris, pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (IHOM) in Balornock, led a parish "Rosary of reparation for the gross offense to God which is Pride Glasgow."

Shortly after, the service was brought to the attention of officials at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), where Fr. Morris served as chaplain. He was promptly sacked.

The move has outraged faithful Scottish Catholics. "John," a member of the archdiocese of Glasgow, told Church Militant Thursday, "I've met Fr. Morris on a number of occasions and I've only ever found him to be a caring, gentle and pastoral priest. He did not deserve dismissal by the university nor the wrath of the Scottish national media for his parish Rosary." 


In a logically inconsistent defense of Fr. Morris' dismissal, GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Pamela Gillies denounced his orthodox Catholic perspective as "antithetical to [the views] held by the University," while proclaiming GCU to be "strongly inclusive and committed to supporting equality and diversity on campus."

On Wednesday, campus gay group LGBT+ Liberation applauded the decision: "Thanks to the resilience of our community, and the string of complaints made directly to the university, and a thorough internal investigation, Father Morris will no longer work within GCU."

It sets a worrying precedent for the independence of Church teaching and presence on campus with regards to religious freedom.

"While this is great news for us," they added, "we wish to extend our hand to the Catholic community within GCU, to work together and make sure we can co-exist in a way that we are all accepted, and our views respected on an equal basis."

But, faithful Catholics are pointing out, Fr. Morris' firing demonstrates that campus gay activists are not willing to respect orthodox Catholic views "on an equal basis" with their own. They are blasting GCU's move as an affront to religious liberty and freedom of speech — an act of persecution. 

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GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Pamela Gillies

"It sets a worrying precedent for the independence of Church teaching and presence on campus with regards to religious freedom. Many of my non-Catholic friends — who, incidentally, are pro-LGBT — feel this was too draconian a measure," John told Church Militant Thursday.

"This is very sad news about the treatment of Father Morris," said another. "When freedom of speech is only the privilege of certain groups, doesn't it lose its very meaning? Silencing people who don't share your notions of tolerance hardly seems to be in the spirit of inclusivity, the poster child of our times."

"It seems startlingly similar to instances when people's jobs were at stake during the Soviet era if they didn't actively promulgate the party's ideology," she added.

Described as an "excellent" pastor and "one of the few traditional priests in Scotland," Fr. Morris' supporters are rallying to his defense.  

In a statement posted to its Facebook page, GCU Catholic Community declared its backing for their chaplain:

The Catholic Community at GCU would like to express our full support and solidarity with Fr. Mark Morris at this time. He is a faithful priest who has served our community with joy, dignity and a smiling face for many years now. We are extremely disappointed that the university have decided to dismiss Fr. Morris. It is frankly abhorrent that a Catholic priest would be dismissed from his post as a Catholic chaplain for merely reaffirming the teachings of the Catholic faith.

In line with Church teaching, Fr. Morris has made it clear on many occasions that homosexual persons are called to a life of chastity. In no way does this mean that homosexual persons are not welcome here at the chaplaincy, nor does it mean that they have fallen short of the love of God. ... Nonetheless, it seems that Glasgow Caledonian University have a very warped understanding of "Equality and Diversity," whereby they have permitted absolutely no diversity of opinion whatsoever. 

In a conversation with Church Militant Thursday, "Gordon," an IHOM parishioner, echoed GCU Catholic Community's praise. 

"Father is like no other priest I have come into contact with in the first couple of years of my life as a Catholic," he said. "I am drawn to his example whenever I watch him faithfully offer up the sacrifice of the Holy Mass. He has helped me to recognize the authenticity of the traditional Catholic faith and to grab hold for dear eternal life." 
 
"The traditional Catholic faith may have disappeared from the archdiocese, even from all of Scotland, but for the heroic efforts of Father Morris," he reflected. "He has undoubtedly been instrumental in making IHOM something of a hub of traditional Catholicism in the U.K., hosting Cdl. Burke and Bp. Schneider at our little parish in recent times."
 
Gordon's assertion was echoed Thursday by "Stefan," another IHOM parishioner: "Fr. Morris is effectively saving the ever-shrinking parish base and replenishes the congregation with faithful who, although not all locals, form a great and lively community of Catholics — hardly comparable to any in Glasgow and indeed in Scotland (with certain notable exceptions!)."
 
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Fr. Mark Morris
"Father Morris will on occasion deliver serious sermons on matters which affect the faithful," Gordon said, explaining the priest's defense of Catholic doctrine. "But there is not the slightest semblance of hatred for particular groups of people — he delivers them not to attack particular people, but out of fidelity to Church teaching and concern for the souls of his parishioners." 
 
Gordon slammed GCU's actions, warning they reflect a worrying trend across British society. 
 
"Of course, the dismissal of Father Morris betrays the complete hypocrisy of the liberals," he said. "The United Kingdom is a deeply liberal country which is becoming more accustomed to promoting immorality — homosexuality, transgenderism and other causes — and in silencing socially conservative voices." 
 
Noting the "operative words" of the new Left — "openness," "inclusiveness," "acceptance," "diversity," "love," etc. — he noted that "none of these alleged values are ever on display in their encounters with moral conservatives."
 
"Rather, we see the opposite — we see bilious hatred of moral conservatives, and of Christians in particular," he said.  
 
Father Morris' dismissal is a prime example of U.K. leftists' tolerance, Gordon argued. 
 
"Liberals are quite capable of tolerating Christians so long as the persons concerned harbor a species of watered-down moral theology to the extent that the Christian's views are indistinguishable from those of his liberal neighbor," he observed. "Or, if he does not express the same views, frankly, he is expected to remain silent." 
 
"Father Morris," Gordon added, "simply verbalized what has been the teaching on homosexuality etc. of the Holy Catholic Church since its inception." 
 
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